The Shuffle: Why we will always remember Wizkid’s debut gem “Shoutout”

Ladies and gentlemen, from Ojuelegba to the world.

All seems set for the release of Wizkid’s Sounds From The Other Side (expected later this week), a venture more or less into another lap of what has been a rather extraordinary career. To be borne of a generation who rose to fame at the cusp of a radical shift in the outward push of African music —thanks to D’banj, 2face, Don Jazzy and co— means you are in the rightfully balanced between incorporating the old and introducing the new. This is not only a scientifically proven key to innovation, it also comes down to having the raw talent to play that role with relative sustainability.(Because getting to the top is easy, what’s hard is staying there).

Still, whatever happens from here is what will become Wizkid’s legacy and one cannot help but wonder how that will turn out. He may have come to level of success where Future tapping him along on his tour is just another day in the life of Wizkid. Or to power that allows him casually get into twitter banter just so his fans can rip the internet apart. But in the end it will come down to little moments like “Shout-Out”, an album closer produced by Q Beats on Wizkid’s debut, Super Star.

On “Shout-Out”, Wizkid’s somber leanings towards spirituality is channeled towards those who have seemingly been there for him. From Banky W who gave him a shot at EME, to General Pype, one of his early collaborators, and friends and family. ‘God Go make you bigger’ he chants, with the grateful spirit of a man who wishes the best for those who have been good to him.

It is fair to note that “Shout Out” is the only song in Wizkid’s expansive catalog where he successfully balances his own aggrandized personal image with actual humility and excitement. Other songs have come as “Oluwa Lo Ni” and “Ojuelegba” where he is somber from top to bottom. Or “Baba Nla” and “Daddy Yo”, where even Kanye West would never match the suaveness of his acute self-obsession.

“Shout Out” is dedicated to all the many sweats that were broken for Wizkid to breakthrough. As the world turns and night falls, people change as the sun sets, but these few will always be the “real one(s)”. Their place is so special that Wizkid had to incorporate AfroJuju and Fuji music tendencies for people-praise music. Today, the names of the people mentioned in “Shout Out” will be retold as part of the Wizkid story. A church choir child prodigy from Ojuelegba turned international superstar. Who would have thought right?

Stream “Shout Out” via Apple Music below

Toye is the Team lead at Native Nigeria. Tweet at him @ToyeSokunbi

Here is a definitive timeline of wizkid’s releases since ‘ayo’ just in time for ‘sounds from the other side’